A team of FBI agents are sent to Saudi Arabia to
investigate a suicide bombing at an American facility.
The Kingdom (2007)
Directed by Peter Berg
Written by Matthew Michael Carnahan
Starring Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner,
Jason Bateman, Ashraf Barhom, Ali Suliman,
Jeremy Piven, Richard Jenkins, Danny Huston
The Kingdom is another post-9/11 war film that slipped under the radar twelve years ago, and thanks to Netflix, I had the opportunity to give it a watch. It's an engaging thriller that features top-notch performances from everyone involved, particularly Jennifer Garner and Ashraf Barhom, for me at least. The plot is fairly by-the-numbers and the villains are all faceless Middle Eastern terrorists, but the characters are interesting enough to keep you invested in what happens next.
Jamie Foxx plays Special Agent Ronald Fleury, who leads a team of FBI agents to Saudi Arabia against government orders to find and stop a terrorist cell that bombed an American facility and murdered Fleury's best friend. The team consists of Foxx, Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner, and Jason Bateman, all of whom excel in their respective roles. I enjoyed Fleury's budding friendship with Saudi police officer Faria Al Ghazi (Barhom), who is there to guide them through the city and oversee the investigation. Overall, the characters save the movie. The film ends quite abruptly, though the final shootout is quite spectacular.
The good outweighs the bad with The Kingdom. It's a war film that shows both sides of the War on Terror, and it paints Al Qaeda as true monsters, even to the Saudis who live alongside them. I think that's something we forget in this country. Not all terrorists are Muslims, and the innocent citizens of the Middle East are just as terrified and hated by the enemy as we are. The Kingdom showed this aspect of the war better than most, and I think that's what drew me in.